When a loved one passes away during the summer months, many surviving families will choose to hold funeral services outdoors. If you find yourself planning to attend such a service — or the service is indoors but you'll be graveside for the burial and the temperature is extremely hot — it's important that you take steps to stay cool. On the surface, your personal comfort level might not seem important in the scope of the occasion, but the last thing you want to do is faint because of the heat. Beyond finding shade whenever it's possible, and even thinking about carrying an umbrella, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Alter Your Outfit
In many cultures, it's no longer absolutely imperative to wear black from head to toe during funeral services. This means that you can still dress in a respectful manner but not in a color that will unnecessarily attract the heat and make you uncomfortable. For example, a gray or tan suit or dress is significantly cooler to wear when you're out in the sun. Opt for summer-style formal attire; it's made with lighter fabrics and won't be as heavy on you when you're already hot. You can also think about making subtle changes, such as wearing a short-sleeve shirt under your suit jacket. No one will be able to tell, but you'll be lighter and cooler.
Hydration is always important, but is even more critical when it's hot because of the water your body loses through sweat, prompting dehydration. Additionally, if you're shedding a significant amount of tears during the service or burial, you could also become dehydrated. At some outdoor services, there will be a table with jugs of water and paper cups for the attendees. It's always a good idea, however, to carry a small bottle of water with you. It can easily slip inside your purse or the pocket of a suit jacket.
In still air, the ability to move a little of the air around you can dramatically make you feel more comfortable. Don't hesitate to gently fan your face with the funeral program. You can also think about taking a small, battery powered handheld fan with you. While you might not wish to use the fan during the service itself, there's no harm in running it before the service when you're either standing or sitting in the sun.
For a local funeral home, contact an organization such as Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home.